I made this soup over the course of a dismal and rainy Saturday afternoon. It was soothing for me, repeatedly going to the kitchen, checking and stirring, and adding additional ingredients every few minutes, while doing other things around the house. Plus, the aroma of simmering soup brought cheer into our home.
Because I built this soup in layers, over some length of time, I found no need to add commercially prepared, canned broth to add "cooked all day" flavor. The soup made its own all day flavor. In the beginning, I added a cup of strongly brewed fresh coffee and otherwise I just used water to coach the flavors from the steak and vegetables to make a satisfyingly flavorful broth. I seasoned the soup simply, using only Celtic sea salt, freshly ground tellicherry peppercorns, and fresh parsley to let the flavors of the individual vegetables shine through.
Steak and Fresh Vegetable Soup
Olive oil or other oil, to saute
3/4 pound sirloin steak
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jumbo onion, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 portabella mushroom, chopped
1 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee
Water as needed
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pound new red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1/2 pound fresh green beans, snapped
1/2 small head cabbage, sliced
Salt, pepper, and parsley, to taste
In a large soup pot, heat a little oil over medium high heat. Sear the steak, which has been salted and peppered on each side. Once the steak is very well browned, remove from pan and set aside. Add a little more oil if necessary and saute the garlic, onion, celery, and mushroom until beginning to soften and brown. Add a cup of hot coffee, stirring to deglaze the pan and loosen all the brown bits from the bottom. Add the steak back to the pot, add some water and salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and simmer for an hour or more until the steak is very tender and the vegetables are breaking down to form a rich gravy.
Remove the steak from the pan, shred the meat then return to the pot. Add the remaining vegetables, as you prep them, seasoning each new addition and adding more liquid as needed. Cover and simmer until everything is tender. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Very Cheesy Garlic Toast
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 clove garlic, crushed
Thick slices of rustic bread
Slices of sharp cheddar cheese
Mix together the butter and garlic. Spread on slices of bread. Top, generously with cheese slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the bread is starting to brown.